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Discernment at St. Mary's

Listening always precedes action because we act not in our own strength but the Spirit of God. My favorite verse of Scripture says it best for me. “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord of hosts.” (Zechariah 4:6b)

What is discernment?

From the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia: The essential question of discernment is, "What is God calling me to?" a question that seeks to understand how the seeker's gifts best serve the world through Christ. It is a question that must be answered in community and by community. We seek to affirm a seeker's gifts by listening for the Holy Spirit in discernment.

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How can we discern as a parish?

1) Pray 

The Collect for Discernment

O God, by whom the meek are guided in judgment, and light rises up from the darkness: Fill us with the grace to ask what you would have us do, and send your Spirit of wisdom to save us from false and easy choices. In this time of discernment give us ears to hear and eyes to see, and with your light illumine the path before us, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen. 


St Theresa’s prayer

Let nothing disturb you

Let nothing frighten you

Those who cling to God

will lack nothing

Let nothing disturb you

Let nothing frighten you

God alone is enough


2) Sit in silence


3) Read scripture 

Proverbs 1:1-7

Luke 24:13-36

Isaiah 30:21


4) Ask yourself

·      Who is God?

·      What is God’s mission?

·      What separates me from God?

·      What was my relationship with God like in the pandemic and how is         it now?

·      What are my great passions?

·      Where are the great wounds of the world?

·      Where do my passions and the needs of the world meet?


5) Engage with St. Mary’s community

Join clergy, vestry and parishioners at coffee hour to discuss weekly questions of discernment. Respond to the online questions in the weekly eblast.

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